FRESNO – On February 22, 2018, three people were arrested following a month-long investigation led by the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Investigation and the Fresno Methamphetamine Task Force (FMTF).
Abel Castro, Tauri Valera and Julian Aispuro were arrested for possession of 29 pounds of methamphetamine, one and a quarter pounds of heroin, as well as one loaded handgun. The narcotics are believed to have been imported from Mexico.
“Illegal drug sales and use weigh heavily on our society,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “We have to put a stop to this criminal activity as it leads to violent crime, property crimes and fear among law-abiding citizens.”
“This operation demonstrates our continuing commitment to crack down on drugs that are being trafficked throughout our state,” said Attorney General Xavier Becerra. “Keeping Californians safe is our number-one priority at the California Department of Justice, and we will continue to work with our state, local and federal law enforcement partners to combat illegal narcotics, including opioids.”
Undercover agents from the FMTF task force negotiated with the three suspects to purchase 29 pounds of methamphetamine and two pounds of heroin. During the morning hours of February 22, the suspects confirmed the narcotics had crossed the Mexican border and would be delivered to a Fresno parking lot. The suspects were arrested once the FMTF undercover agents were able to view the evidence.
On February 26, 2018, Castro, Valera and Aispuro were arraigned in Fresno County Superior Court on five felony counts each of conspiracy to possess and sell methamphetamine and heroin. Additionally, Valera was charged with possession of narcotics while armed with a firearm, and Castro was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and resisting arrest. The case is being prosecuted by the Fresno County District Attorney's Office.
Bail was set at $790,000 for Castro, $730,000 for Valera and $675,000 for Aispuro.